It is this kind of detailed, intellectually honest (even technologically innovative) reporting that news outlets like The New York Times should be striving for with their coverage of the recent controversies related to the IPCC. Coverage in the U.S. still feels like the proverbial tale of blind men examining different quarters of an elephant. Readers need the point-by-point master narrative. How exactly did this crisis in public confidence crystallize over the last month or so? How did various criticisms of the IPCC roll out? Which of those are legitimate? Which false? And what, if anything, can be done to improve the IPCC’s work?
It is not a story that can be told without a significant amount of context, but news outlets have a responsibility to get it right. If that means sacrificing the front-page thought and running a twelve-part series online instead, so be it.
[Update, 12:00 p.m.: The Washington Post also weighed in with a front-page story on Monday, which provides a decent, but succinct account of the IPCC controversy, mentioning possible ramifications for climate regulations and legislation in the U.S. In the last week, The Christian Science Monitor, Scientific American, Mother Jones, and Foreign Policy have also run analyses of the situation.]